Saturday, July 15, 2006

A GEM OF A BOOK

The other day, I wanted portable, light-weight reading material for my subway commute. I tossed The Writer's Life: Insights from The Right to Write into my bag. The book is yellow, postcard-sized, and chock-full of pearly wisdom from Julia Cameron. You may know her from her time-honored classic, The Artist's Way.

Each page features a thought about writing, and as I read each thought, I think "Whoa, that's deep!" I am pulled to earmark almost every page. Here's what Julia sez on p.3:

Most of us try to write too carefully. We try to do it "right." We try to sound smart. We try, period. Writing goes much better when we don't work at it so much. When we give ourselves permission to just hang out on the page. For me, writing is like a good pair of pajamas - comfortable. In our culture, writing is more often costumed up in a military outfit. We want our sentences to march in neat little rows, like well-behaved boarding school children. Burn down the school. Save the books, perhaps, but get the teacher to tell you the real secrets: What does she write and read as a guilty pleasure? Guilty pleasure is what writing is all about. It is about attractions, words you can't resist using to describe things too interesting to pass up.
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